The Red Bull BC One U.S. Finals concluded over the weekend and featured some of the nation’s best B-Girls and B-Boys clashing for the chance to represent America at the World Finals this November. In one of the most intense contests of its sort, Isis and Morris fought through tough opposition to emerge victoriously but the journey is far from over for the pair.
Hip-Hop Wired attended the Red Bull BC One US Finals in sunny Orlando, Fla., which was held at the Ace Cafe in the city’s downtown section and hosted by O-Zone native E-Turn and Ivan The Urban Action Figure. The battles were preceded by a number of workshops, panel discussions, and open cyphers featuring B-Girls and B-Boys of varying ages and skill levels, yet the welcoming atmosphere of the event meant that anyone brave enough to enter the cypher was due to get proper encouragement from their peers.
The road to the U.S. Finals traveled through New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Houston, with the winners of each regional quarterfinal going on to Orlando to face a collective of decorated breakers all vying for the same opportunity. As we learned over the weekend, the breaking community is tight-knit and almost friendly to a fault, except when the stakes rise and the battle is on. Even then, sportsmanship was present despite the perceived tensions which electrified the venue.
Ahead of the completion, Hip-Hop Wired had the privilege of speaking with Arizona’s Mace and California’s Morris, who won the B-Boy finals as previously mentioned. Mace, one of the younger professional breakers in the competition, spoke with a reserved calm and focus but there was a fire in him that was impossible to ignore.
“I’ve been dancing since I was a kid. My father was a breaker and saw me as a little kid trying out moves he did and he took me under his wing,” Mace explained of his early beginnings in breaking. “As I grew and kept getting stronger, my dad was behind me and also my little brother, teaching us and guiding us to where we are as breakers today.”
With breaking soon to emerge as an Olympic sport, Hip-Hop Wired asked Mace if it was his mission to join Team USA. Without blinking, Mace answered, “You will see me there, no question about it.”
Despite his many years in breaking, Morris, also an Olympic hopeful, carried an undeniably kinetic buzz with him that would translate well during the competition. Hip-Hop Wired was able to snag a few moments with Morris as he took in the sights of the Finals.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’m sure I most likely have the most titles of any breaker here but I already know I’m facing some of the best in the world,” Morris said. In what was something of a foretelling moment, Morris gave a nod to Mace, and the two eventually faced off in a battle that needed a tie-breaker for Morris to best his younger opponent.
“This kid Mace is nice and there are so many others like him that are so good. But as much as I want to give light and help promote the younger generation, I’m not done by any means,” Morris said.
As Queen Latifah powerfully stated, “Ladies First” was definitely the vibe for Saturday (August 21) as the B-Girl competition featured 16 competitors who brought their best before Ecuador native and current Florida resident Isis battled her way to the top. We spoke with some members of the crowd who felt that other B-Girls should’ve been given higher marks but in the end, all supported the very deserving Isis for winning it all over the fierce Rascal Randi.
On Sunday (August 22), the B-Boy battle was a touch more aggressive although it was mostly in the realm of competitiveness and not all out spite. From the onset, the aforementioned Mace was steel-faced and looked poised to take out any B-Boy that faced him until he clashed with Morris. In one of the battles of the weekend, Morris had to dig into his energy reserves to take out Mace before going on to face a capable Ben Stacks in the finals.
Morris was declared the winner and there was real emotion across his face during the epic moment. As the dust settled and he was able to steal a quiet moment, Morris displayed an alarming amount of humility in the wake of his win.
“I’m always just trying to be the best version of myself, that’s what I said when I came here and I’m going to continue that journey on to Poland,” Morris said. “I always believed in myself but I knew it wouldn’t be easy, and it wasn’t. My body is tired and I want to rest but I’m not done just like I said before. I’m not done. I came here to win.”
Morris added, “None of this would be possible without Red Bull putting energy into our sport and seeing what it can do for the world. Me and my teamtha, my physical trainer, everyone that helped along the way. I’m just so thankful, man. But we have more to do.”
The Red Bull BC One Finals will take place on November 5 and 6 in Gdansk, Poland.
Learn more about Red Bull BC One by following this link. To see the B-Girl and B-Boy U.S. Finals battles in full, click here.
Photo: Red Bull BC One
Additional: IG: @thrifttheasphaltrunway